Friday Wrap (with Five Faves)

Happy Friday! I’m attempting to link into “Five on Friday” for the first time, so hopefully I’ll meet a few new friends today!

Here we go:

  1. If I had to wrap the week in a word, it would be joyful. Even though I attended a funeral for my friend’s father, it was such a beautiful experience that left everyone feeling inspired. His nickname was “Brownie” and was one of those guys who loved life, was never short on a joke (or prank), and knew how to appreciate a good beer. The stories shared at his service were both heartwarming and hilarious. As I was listening, I made a quiet vow to myself: don’t take life too seriously. Our time here is a quick breath of air in the grand scheme of things. I want to enjoy every second of it – while laughing as often as I can.
  2. I was proud to wish my own dad a happy Veteran’s Day on Tuesday. He was in the Air Force for many years and retired as a Lt. Colonel. He served our country with great pride, and I’m a better American because of him. Love you, Pappa Joe!
    Pappa Joe

    My sweet dad, Pappa Joe!

  3. I saw my first snowflake of the season this morning. And it’s only November! That’s a rare treat in Arkansas. It didn’t stick to anything, but it was alive for all of five seconds. Some may dispute, but I saw it. I hear more is on the way this weekend. Brrr and bring on the cocoa. Or maybe another Chestnut Praline Latte from the ‘Bucks?
    Chestnut Praline Latte

    I tried one this week, and they are sugary goodness in a cup.

  4. The girls started a new thing this week where they put their favorite blanket in the dryer while they’re taking a bath. After they dry off, they literally wrap in a blanket of warmth. Why haven’t we done this sooner?!
    Avery & Clara

    Look at those snuggly little peanuts.

  5. I just pulled out my Hip Hop Abs DVD. Not to get all Bridget Jones’ Diary on you (remember that funny book?) but I’ve been feeling a bit “swollen” lately. I don’t know if I’ve overdone the salt, sweets, carbs or all of the above, but I was prompted to workout. I try to do yoga once a day to get some form of exercise. I just don’t usually do sweaty workouts – unless they’re fun and have good music and make me forget I’m actually working out. That’s where Hip Hop Abs enters the picture. Even though I feel like a total dork doing my “tilt, tuck and tighten” with Shaun T, I pump up the volume and stomp it out in my garage every now and again. Once you get the hang of it, it’s actually pretty fun.

What I feel like:Hip Hop DancerWhat I probably look like:bad-dancerHave a great weekend and I’ll catch you on Monday with some gorgeous DIY ornaments inspired by Pottery Barn. Here’s a sneak peek:

Let's make these glittery initial ornaments!

Let’s make these glittery initial ornaments!

Feather Ornament

Let’s make these gorgeous glass and feather ornaments, too!

Thanks to Liz, DarciChristina, and Natasha for letting me join your fun Friday adventure. I hope to catch you all again next week!Fiveonfriday

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Creative Tip Tuesday: Pause to Play!

Play MemeHello, my sweet creative friends. I have a fun tip for this Tuesday. It’s all about play!

It’s easy to get so caught up in the daily hustle of our adult responsibilities that we don’t think about stopping to have fun. I’m totally guilty of this. Sometimes the thought of watching a funny video, learning a joke, or taking a trip to the park seems as indulgent as a bubble bath in the middle of the day – especially with so many tasks on the “to-do”.

But being playful is incredibly important. Even if it’s just a few minutes jamming to your favorite song in the car, feeling this kind of joy can do wonders for your spirit. I absolutely love this quote from author Dr. Stewart Brown,

“The opposite of play is not work. The opposite of play is depression.”

It’s essential to our well being to take a few minutes each day to laugh and play like the child we once were. Brown also says, “Play shapes our brain, helps us foster empathy…and is at the core of creativity and innovation.”

There’s no better time than right now to embrace your inner child and do something fun. You’ll be amazed at the way your mind starts opening and your heart starts feeling.

Here’s an exercise to try.

Grab your journal and make a list of five things that makes you feel playful. If that feels hard, think back to the last time you laughed. And I mean snort-laughed in the air like you just don’t care. Where were you, who were you with, or what were you doing that made you have such a great reaction? That might give you some ideas.

Pick one of your five activities, schedule 15 joyful minutes, and go do it! Then write in your journal about your experience.

  • What did you choose to do?
  • How did it make you feel?
  • When was the last time you did this activity? If it’s been awhile, why haven’t you done it sooner?
  • What can you change in your current schedule to make room for more play?

I hope you’ll give yourself permission to have recess today. Have fun and let me know how it goes. I love hearing from you!

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Five Ways to Share Gratitude

Thanksgiving bunting

Bonus idea: Here’s a little project I did this weekend. It’s a Thanksgiving bunting made with burlap and gold-painted chipboard letters. I hung by the chimney with care – and a few mini clothespins.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. My husband and I were even married on Thanksgiving weekend. That’s how much I love it – and him. While I treasure the awesome food and permission to wear yoga pants all day (or two), I appreciate how it’s such a low-key holiday that invites us to just hang with the family and give thanks for the many blessings in our lives.

I truly believe gratitude changes everything.

Gratitude has been proven to make people feel happier, strengthen relationships, improve health, and reduce stress. That’s some amazing grace right there. We should make giving thanks an everyday deal. And if you want to throw in some turkey, go right ahead. No one’s judging.

So in an effort to invite more gratitude in my own life, I found five ideas I’d like to share. I adore each and every one of them, and I encourage you to pick one or two and give them a try for yourself!

  1. Start a Gratitude Journal: This post includes a sweet idea about creating a journal not only for yourself, but also your children. You’re never too young or old to give thanks.
    Gratitude journal

    Gratitude Journals from Let’s Lasso the Moon

  2. Make a Gratitude Tree: This tree would make a perfect centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table. If you don’t have room for one big tree, a set of three or four smaller versions arranged down the middle of your table would be pretty – and easy for guests to participate. You could leave a “leaf” and small pencil at each place setting. What I love about this post from The Mother Huddle is it includes printable tags for you to use.
    thanksgivingtree

    Gratitude tree from The Mother Huddle

  3. Read a Book about Gratitude: 365 Thank Yous is a touching memoir about a man named John Kralik who decides to write 365 thank you notes in the coming year. In the words of the publisher, “Kralik sets a believable, doable example of how to live a miraculously good life. To read 365 Thank Yous is to be changed.” This would make a wonderful gift for anyone dear to your heart.365ThankYous
  4. Watch a Gratitude Video {link}: The Gratitude Project filmed a unique social experiment that will tug at your heartstrings. People were asked to express gratitude to someone they haven’t spoken to in awhile. Each person selected three contacts in their phone and called them to say “thank you”. It’s a great reminder of how powerful a simple call can be. It would be awesome if everyone would stop to do this.
  5. Take a Gratitude Challenge on Social Media: You may have seen a few hashtags in use with the gratitude theme. Why not give it a try yourself? #100thankfuldays is one challenge where you spend 100 days posting your gratitude. It’s a brilliant way to create a habit. If you’re not ready to bite off that big of a commitment, you can take the 5-Day Gratitude Challenge, where you list five things for five days that you’re grateful for. Then you can nominate a Facebook friend to do the same.

I hope you’ll join me in trying a few of these ideas. In the meantime, I’m grateful you’re here!

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Creative Tip Tuesday: Notice the Small Things

IMG_4512

Design from The Neat Nook

This week, I encourage you to notice something small and seemingly ordinary, yet that strikes you as beautiful. If you can, take a picture of this object. Write a caption about what makes it stand out. Post it on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using #CreativeTipTues so everyone can see what you discovered.

Why is this important to your creativity?

What you’ll notice about this exercise is you’re forced to live in the present moment. Suddenly you’re not thinking about what’s on your mind or what’s next on your to-do list. You’ll find yourself immersed in the details of life as it stands in front of you.

Here’s an awesome list of seven reasons to be present, which I think you’ll enjoy. Obviously #2 rings true to my heart.

Being fully present is one of the best ways to tap into your creativity.

Once you start slipping into the past, ideas about what has been done before start to creep into your thinking. Perhaps there’s even judgment attached. Going the other direction, it’s easy to leap into the future with worry about deadlines and expectations. All of these thoughts block new ideas and shut down possibilities. Staying in the “now” keeps you focused and aligned with your true creative potential. So the best gift you can give yourself (creatively speaking) is to put yourself smack dab in the present and just see what develops.

Have fun searching and creating! I hope to see some of your images online. Remember to tag #CreativeTipTues or message me on Instagram @katejandersen.

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Creative Tip Tuesday: Try Something New. Anything.

It’s Tuesday! That means I’ll be sharing a creative tip today. This post was inspired by my sweet and amazingly talented friend, Leslie Sisti. We work together at a PR firm where we both get to share our love of creativity and writing. Leslie has been a fashion blogger of A Blonde Ambition for several years now and has become wildly successful. She’s the real deal, friends. When I told her I wanted to start a blog, she kindly offered tips, encouragement and even a chance to guest blog to help get things going. There aren’t enough flowers in the world that could properly thank her!HeaderTrans_zpscb139c50Here’s where I tried something new.

As nervous as I was, I took up Leslie on the offer to guest blog. (It’s posted today, so be sure to check it out.) While I’ve been a copywriter for decades and even led teams as a creative director, you’d think writing a blog would be as easy as breathing. Somehow, trying my hand at this feels entirely different. I’m usually writing on behalf of clients. So while the words are mine, the message always belongs to someone else. There’s a veil of protection in case someone doesn’t like the work. Or strangely enough, if someone loves what I’ve done, I can smile in the background and not have to take center stage. So, blogging. It’s personal. It’s honest. It’s imperfect. And most importantly, it’s something new for me.

I’m excited for the journey. My hope is you’ll join in my adventure and be inspired to try new things, too. It doesn’t have to mean quitting your job or planning a trip to France (although I’d LOVE to visit my dear friend Kristina!) Enough small adventures will lead to big discoveries. Here’s an inspiring TED Talk by Matt Cutts that shares his adventure of trying something new for 30 days.

New things can include writing with your other hand, taking a different route to work or buying plantains instead of bananas. What will happen is you’ll start to notice patterns about the things you choose – and the things you love. You’ll hear your inner voice. You’ll see your confidence grow. Perhaps most importantly, your true self will emerge. And that’s good for everyone.

What the world needs...

Graphic designed by The Neat Nook.

Go try something new today and tell me about it. Comment, email or post it on Twitter, Insty or Facebook using #CreativeTipTues.

My love and cheers to you all! – Kate

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